We had the good fortune of connecting with Danny Higs and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Danny, what do you attribute your success to?
There are a lot of different factors for my brand’s success in nyc. One of the more important factors is saying yes to opportunities that come up, even if you aren’t necessarily sure where they’ll lead. I remember, one of my first production gigs I was hired to take stills during a music video for Meek Mill. The only reason I got that job is because weeks ago I checked Instagram, and a photographer was looking for a last-minute assistant for a magazine shoot. I had 1 hour to show up to the studio and it was unpaid. However, I thought it would be fun and had nothing to do that day anyway. The team was great, and the photographer must’ve liked me. He was offered the Meek Mill job but had to travel to Europe for some work, and out of nowhere recommended me for the gig. It really goes to show that in nyc you just have to take chances on opportunities, treat people well, do your job, and you’ll get offered opportunities you could never imagine.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I feel that the thing that sets me apart from my peers is my ability to listen. Listen to the client, listen to the story, or listen to the needs of the job at the moment. Photography is a science, and there are different formulas for different works. To succeed in this field you have to be a mad scientist and be able to apply your style/vision in a way that fulfills the needs of the work at hand. It’s not easy but it really helps if you know what you bring to the table and listen well to the needs of the clients in order to solve the equation. I wasn’t always this way; When I first started photography I would apply the same process to everything without really asking what was needed in the situation. I fell into this rut where I wasn’t getting better at photography, and my work was stagnant. I didn’t even realize until my wife pointed out that there was something missing in my work. She’s pretty critical of my work, which I really appreciate. So once she said that it lit a fire in my belly and I experimented with different lighting, colors, textures, ratios, and styling. It helped me find a balance between finding my style and using it in a way to fulfill an assignment. I still experiment and practice all the time, and highly recommend it to new photographers if they want to stay sharp and develop their photographic arsenal.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Pizza Pizza Pizza!!! I do live in nyc after all, so first stop is always for a slice. Don’t get me wrong there are plenty of styles, and every one likes something different. The safe bet is Joe’s Pizza if you like New York style! However, I prefer a neopolitan pie over anything. Roberta’s, Ops, or Sottocasa are all great options. If not pizza, then tacos, hotpot, or korean fried chicken are great second options. After being fed I take my guests shopping and sight seeing, but not your usual toursit spots. I like to take people to places that make nyc seem like less of a huge city and more like other worlds we can peek into. Places like Japan Village, Roosevelt Island, Downtown Flushing, the various Botanical gardens, and different hidden parks and mini-beaches across the city.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would be lying if I said that my success came solely from my efforts. There’s a bunch that goes into becoming a recognized name in the creative field. First and foremost, my wife of 7 years Erina DaSilva has always had my back while I’ve pursued my dreams in photography. She’s been there through the highs and lows of my career continuously believing in me and pushing me to become a more well-rounded photographer. furthermore, I’d like to thank NYC-SPC (Street Photography Collective) for looking out for the professionals, amateurs, and hobbyists in the community. A big thank you to Mi Casa Studios in Williamsburg for giving Artists like me the opportunity to work with big brands like Reebok and for being the cultural hub for the community as a whole giving back to the people that uplift the city. Last but not least I’d like to shout out the city that I grew up in for allowing me to learn, thrive, and feel confident enough in my abilities to represent the midwest worldwide- Columbus, Ohio will always hold a special place in my heart.
Youtube: Danny Higs
Models: Richie Leone, Taylor Isabelle, Vaeda McGarr, Laura Fernanda, Annelise Grunewald, Sadie Massa, Agnes Artych